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The Nokia 5230 (Nuron) is here

Hot on heels of the Nokia X6, the friendly folks at T-Mobile USA sent me a Nokia 5230 (Nuron) review unit!

Take the Nokia 5800, remove stuff (WiFi, one speaker, the front-facing camera & the stylus), add AWS (1700 MHz) 3G, and swap the 3 MP Zeiss camera (with autofocus and flash) for a basic 2 MP camera (without autofocus or flash) – that’s the Nuron in a nutshell…

It’s easy to dismiss this phone as just a downgraded 5800 with the same stagnating OS (S60v5), until you realize that it’s both cheap to buy ($70 or less on contract) and cheap to own ($10 per month for unlimited data).

Symbian touch means you get apps like Ovi Maps, Mail for Exchange, Gravity, Qik Premium, and Skype (over 3G).

Of course, the lack of WiFi is annoying, and the lack of autofocus is disappointing, but the camera actually handles low light better than the 5800, and the device still supports tethering and VGA video recording :)

Despite the excellent value, it’s difficult to imagine anyone other than hard-core Nokia fans getting excited about the Nuron. Regardless, take a look at my pictures and video:


5230, 5800, Images, links, Nokia, Nuron, Video, X6

23 thoughts on “The Nokia 5230 (Nuron) is here Leave a comment

  1. How cheap to own is it really?
    Doesn’t the $10/mo dataplan require
    a much more expensive voice plan to go with it ?

      • I didnt mean compared to regular voice plans;
        I meant compared to the $10/mo.
        So I’m still looking at $50/mo or more in total…

        In that case, paying $70-$80/mo for a proper smartphone
        seems like a better proposition…

    • You’re being shortsighted… That $10 data plan will work on a Google Nexus One, a Nokia N900, or an HTC HD2 – all proper smartphones (with compatible 3G). Just swap the SIM!

      In fact, it will work on most other smartphones, like an unlocked iPhone (2G only).

  2. I’ve heard the $10 data plan won’t necessarily work on some smartphones (e.g. Android). T-Mo apparently detects if you’re using certain phones, and requires you to upgrade to the full smartphone data plan.

    With two 5230s in the family, I’m saving at least $30/mo compared to a pair of Android phones. A couple years of that and you’re talking real money.

    And the unlocked 5230 is $180, vs. over $500 for the Nexus One.

    Since I’m usually near a proper computer most of the day, I can get by without a proper smartphone.

    • They can exclude known IMEIs (from phones they are selling, like the HD2), but they can’t do anything about other IMEIs (Nexus One, N900)…

      Then again, maybe they do it the other way around and exclude any IMEIs except the Nuron!

      Perhaps I’ll test this and report back :)

  3. They aren’t detecting anything, the internet is $10. The key is only for phones, not smart phones. I guess the small screen on the Nuron is the reason for the cheap internet. If tmobile recognizes your phone as a smart phone you’ll be paying the full $30, if it isn’t a tmobile phone $10 plan is all good. I’d watch out with that nexus one though or any android phone because they can easily monitor that.

    Nuron is pretty good for the price, i couldn’t justify another $30 per month so i went the $10 route. It works well and it’s cheap, the smart phone for the masses. They’ll sell a ton of these in India etc, where all phones are unlocked and this will be $150 us vs. $600

  4. Does Skype work on this phone? The Skype link you provided in your writeup shows that Skype works for the 5320… not the 5230.

    • Yes Skype works on the Nuron – I tested it…

      Use the link I provided – the Nuron is the 5230, but is often typo-ed as the 5320.

      It’s not so important which device you pick, as long as it’s Symbian S60v5 compatible.

      So basically, most apps for the 5800, 5530, N97. N97 mini, and X6 will just work on the Nuron!

      • Hey, there.

        What link did you use? Because I tried downloading through the link that I sent myself through SMS, via Skype website. And when I try opening the link it says not compatible. :(

  5. Hi tnkgrl,

    What’s the link that u mentioned u provided for Skype to work on Nuron 5230? Can you provide again?


  6. This is pretty old news at this point, but I want to let you know that the $10/mo data plan does NOT work on other smart phones… not longer than a couple weeks at any rate. I got a n900 and it worked fine for about 2.5 weeks before putting up a web page saying “your data plan does not support this device” or some such thing, requiring me to upgrade to the $25/mo (contractless) or $30/mo (contract) plans.

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